Thanks Badges

Cambridge District Scout Archive

Thanks Badges have been awarded to both Members and Non Members for services to Scouting.

There are no clear parameters for awarding the badge, which could be purchased freely by each group or troop. No central records have been located in Cambridge District that inform the practice locally.

The thanks badge was generally given to express appreciation to those who were not members of the Boy Scout movement, but who had been of service to scouting.

Many forms of the badge can be seen at / UK badges / Scout Leader and Adult / Thanks badges. The form that causes most concern is that presented to H V Nunn in 1934.

In Europe this design was sometimes called the Hooked Cross or from Middle English, the Fylfot.  The 3000 year old symbol for good luck, prosperity and well being was used by many cultures.  Robert Baden-Powell’s design superimposed the fleur-de-lis.

It was only used from 1914-1935.  When the National Socialist Party in Germany adopted the swastika symbol the design was changed, and it ceased to be used.  Previous recipients could exchange their award for the new design, or could keep it and purchase the new one as well. 

A list of prominent local recipients starts below, listed as located:

Mrs. Lilley of West Road who hosted the 11th for over 30 years (c 1932 – 1966) was presented with a gold thanks badge in about 1935 – 1936. It was in the form a of a fylfot and came with a note that it should not be worn outside the country and never presented to a Jew. Undated it was presumably just before the form was changed. The badge was returned to the 11th at her death by her daughter. The signature is very likely that of C Dymock Green, General Secretary of the Boy Scout Association; the stroke of the ‘k’ is missing. No County or District secretaries of that time were ‘Green’. The badge and some of the correspondence is below.

The badge form was replaced in May 1936 alongside that of the Medal of Merit which used the same form.

A F Pemberton Sept 1970 The Pemberton family of Trumpington have been very long term supporters of the Scouts. This may be the second badge awarded to the family. Not a Scouter.

Ken North (SW) December 1971 Received a Thanks Badge from the Guide Association for his work in the Scout Shop

H V Nunn Member of the 12th Cambridge from 1911 – 1934 he was presented with a Gold thanks pendent. A Scouter. See People/ Individuals / Cambridge Scouters / H V Nunn

John Murrish 1932  Presented with Thanks Badge by the 12th on the occasion of their 21st anniversary.

George Westcott Martin 1934 Headmaster of the Cambridge Grammar school, previously known as the Higher Grade School, it was during his time that the very successful if short lived 6th flourished. He was awarded a Gold Thanks badge by CC C T Wood. He attempted to revive the Troop in 1919 and was involved in many later school (not scout) camping trips. It is not clear in what manner he was involved in Scouting between these years.

Wallace Cole County c 1973

Roy Green District Treasurer resigned and a Thanks Badge was presented.

         Following the completion of the 4th/17th HQ in 1977a number of Scout and Guide thanks badges were presented. Scout Thanks Badges went to

  • Auban Bonus
  • Edna Howlett
  • Alam Kelamn
  • Pat Kelman
  • David Law
  • Joan Law
  • Peggy Maskell
  • Ruth Millard
  • Harry Nunn
  • Ralph Sargent
  • Margaret Turpin

Mr. Rollinson owner of a farm in Stradishall donated for County Camp was given a Thanks Badge in 1979 for ‘help over many years’.

JWR Archivist June 2021